visiting New Orleans
I sit with my Grandfather
at a small square table
in a neighborhood
Formica table tops
Aluminum napkin dispensers
in the noontime sun
I am happy for smallness of the table,
a good size for me.
My feet don’t touch the ground
But I like that I can swing my legs
gripping both sides of the chair
steadying myself
while looking
round and round the room
like a rotating fan
My Grandfather is quiet
watching me with a slight grin

My Dad excitedly approaches the table
with a huge smile looking like a movie star
carrying three big bundles wrapped in white paper
They almost fill the whole table
being placed down as though
they are Holy relics to be praised
My Dad lowers his head and zooms in close
so that I am sure to hear him announce:

“Here they are!!!
The best Oyster Po-Boys in New Orleans!!!”

Quickly he turns and runs back
to get something else
but there we are at the table
my Grandfather and I sitting still
looking at the mysterious bounty
wondering what to do next
My Grandfather is now smiling
But we are on freeze frame
time stops moving briefly
And for a moment the picture of all of this
for an 8 year old turns curious
I remember wondering:
Why are the Best Oyster Po-Boys in New Orleans
in such an out of the way place?
Why aren’t there more people here?
Why is the food wrapped in white paper
coming to the table and not on a plate?

My Dad soon returns and removes the paper shrouds
And we all have our Po-Boys at that little table
All I could finally think was that
they wanted to keep this place a secret.
Suspicions were confirmed after tasting the
Best Oyster Po-Boys that very day!
Like it was yesterday.